Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Management Lesson: Taking charge with programmers

I've been managing various projects for more than a year. I found this article interesting and think it will help those who are in project management business. Please read on.

If you want to communicate with a programmer, you have to take charge. Programmers are a tricky bunch sometimes. But you, not the programmer, are in charge of the project. Although the programmer is in charge of a large portion work, you’re the one responsible of the project if the project fails. You must establish dominance without being too aggressive. Establish five things through your early communications:
  • Leadership: Leadership is focused on motivating, aligning objectives, and moving your project team to a destination. Assume that you’re leading the project and that your project team will follow.
  • Management: Management is focused on getting results. As a project manager, your core focus is on getting the project successfully completed. Management of a group of programmers means you must see results.
  • Discipline: When your programmers aren’t getting their work done as promised, don’t hesitate to discipline according to your human resources guidelines. Be careful about making snap judgments, thought. First, find out why they aren’t completing the work. Were your instructions unclear? Was there a miscommunication on your end? The problem could be yours and not the programmers’.
  • Organization: Your ability to communicate, lead, manage, and discipline your project team centers on your organizational skills. Be organized and your project team will respect you for having everything on the ball.
  • Balance: In all your decisions you must be fair. Your team of programmers will respect you even more if you show balance and fairness in all of your work assignments and disciplinary actions. Don’t play favorites.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Multiple instances of the application

I wanted to run multiple instances of Skype but couldn't find a way to do it. Although I have polygamy patch for my MSN messenger, I couldn't find similar application to patch Skype. After searching the Internet, I came to know that there is a command line tool to run any application with different Window's user. The command is as below; runas /user: XXX application_executable For me, the solution was just adding one more user to Windows XP system(and assigning password to it too) and by firing following command; runas /user:new_user skype.exe I am not sure if this command works for other version of Windows, but it worked with my Windows XP professional. :-)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Management Lesson: The Law of Diminishing Returns

Time is time. No one can buy more time. You can buy more labor if you think it will help your team do more work faster, but that’s not the same thing as adding time to a project. The law of diminishing returns dictates that adding labor doesn’t exponentially increase productivity; in fact, at some point productivity can even go backwards. For a real-life example, consider that two hardworking and experienced programmers working on a project. In order to finish the project on time, you decide to add one more programmer. Now the programmers may be completing the code more quickly, you decide to add six more programmers so that the project can be finished even sooner. You soon realize that although adding one programmer increased your productivity, adding six more only created chaos with creating a contentious environment. You reached the point of diminishing returns when you added six programmers. Bottom line: You can’t build a house in a single day even with 100 people.